The best elliptical machines are a great element of the best home gym. They’re perfect for getting fit without the pain, as they provide a full-body workout that’s low impact and doesn’t require impeccable technique. Sure, the humble Nordic trainer or elliptical – or cross trainer as it used to be known before ‘cross training’ came to mean something else – is probably the least classic piece of home gym equipment, but it can be highly productive.
Yes, it does look a bit peculiar when you see someone embroiled in a sort of imaginary cross-country skiing event, arms and legs smack in harmony, face twisted as it desperately gulps oxygen. But it is precisely this impact-free, gliding movement that means users can easily and quickly increase their aerobic fitness without putting strain on sensitive joints, while the upper body receives a solid workout in the meantime.
Many people will tell you that the most difficult part of going to the gym is the process of putting on your shoes and leaving your home. Actually working out once you’re there is almost easy, compared to the mental willpower that’s required to get out the door in the first place. With more people staying home this year than not, you might be thinking about cutting yourself some slack and forgoing your gym membership, but don’t give in to the temptation!
There are lots of ways to stay fit and active even without stepping foot in a gym. Nowadays there are plenty of workout videos online and fitness gurus to guide you from within the comfort of your own home. With the hard part of getting to the gym out of the way, all you have to worry about is finding the best workout for you. In addition to DIY workouts that you can stream, you can also think about getting the cardio equipment you normally would use at the gym and bringing it in-house. An elliptical is one of the best cardio machines that you can invest in. It works both your upper and lower body and is easy on the knees if you have any joint issues. With an elliptical at home, you’ll save both time and money in the long run while getting just as good of a workout as you would at a formal gym. Take a look below at our 2020 picks for the best ellipticals for home use under $1000!
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
For its mid-range price and excellent build, the Sunny elliptical is the perfect option for someone who wants a heavy-duty elliptical with all the features that more commercial ones might have. The performance monitor allows you to track your stats while also allowing you to calculate your BMI and choose between 7 workout modes and 24 exercise presets. The digital display also allows you to adjust the magnetic resistance (it comes with 16 levels) so that you can push yourself to your limit. In addition, the manual mode enables you to use this without plugging it in. When it’s unplugged, you can continue to workout on the last resistance setting that was used before the machine was turned off. The quality is equivalent or superior to more expensive models. Even the price gets five stars. I will be using this magnificent machine for the rest of my life.
2. Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine
At the higher end of the price spectrum, the Schwinn Compact 470 comes with all the bells and whistles you might expect a quality elliptical to have. There are a total of 29 programs for you to choose from and 25 levels of resistance, with immersive training provided by Schwinn’s Explore the World App, which enables you to track your exercise stats and progress toward your goals. The display monitor features 2 DualTrack blue backlit LCD for crisp images that allow you to focus on your workout, while it can track your heart rate through contact and telemetry. You also get a rack for your phone or tablet, speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and a built-in bottle holder. On top of all this, the 470 is also extremely quiet so that it won’t disturb others around you while you’re working out. As one user raved, “I love how smoothly and silently the machine works and how it really works my whole body without putting any stress at all on my joints. I hope others decide to give this machine a shot—I’m glad I did!!!
3. Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical
Horizon Fitness is a well-known gym equipment manufacturer and the EX-59 is a great option for someone who’s looking to buy an elliptical that won’t break the bank. It’s easy to use, with one-touch keys that allow you to quickly adjust the speed and 10 levels of magnetic resistance so that you can work up a sweat through various training sessions. It also gives you the flexibility of listening to music through Bluetooth or streaming workout classes and other media through your device. The stride length is 18” and there’s tighter Q factor (distance between pedals) for reduced stress overall on your joints. Users noted that it’s easy to put together based on the directions and that it would take a couple hours to do so. Because this is a more basic elliptical, it lacks some features such as a fan or incline levels, but overall this is a great elliptical for the price and build. As a testament to its quality, one reviewer noted that “my daughter likes it better than the commercial ones at hotels.
4. Cubii Jr
For those of you who want to ease into your workouts without committing to a full-sized elliptical right off the bat, this Cubii under-the-desk elliptical is the best option for you. It fits under your desk and allows you to workout while you’re seated. With eight levels of resistance, you won’t just be spinning your feet and wondering whether you’re burning any calories. This elliptical comes with a built-in display monitor which tracks how long you’ve been working out, how many calories you’ve burned, your rate-per-minute, how many strides you’ve made, and your total distance–all while you’re multitasking and working at your desk. It doesn’t even need to be plugged in for you to get started, making this truly the most portable elliptical out there. Of course, with a model like this you won’t be getting a full body workout like you normally would on a regular elliptical, but it’s nonetheless a great option to consider if you’re looking for a supplement to your office set-up.
5. Bowflex Max Trainer M3
Bowflex Max Trainer M3 trainer is one of the fastest ways to torch fat, without the high impact of running and other bodyweight programmes. We aren’t going to be different, because this unit incorporates the best elements of a stepper with the fat-torching upper body workout of an elliptical trainer.
It’s much more compact for it, so looks a better fit in a home gym environment, while seven built-in workouts have been designed with a huge array of fitness goals in mind.
There is also a companion Max Intelligence App (subscription required), which offers personalised, guided workouts, access to a library of trainer-led videos and the logging of milestones and achievements with in-depth training analysis.
An oversized screen with crystal clear display screams of a premium build quality and the overall aesthetic of the M8 is chunky and bullet-proof. This is an expensive home unit, but one that’s built to last.